How-To Video: Cutting Layers for Thick Hair

As hairdressers, we all face similar challenges, including—but definitely not limited to—mastering current trends, saving the day with color corrections and finding the perfect hairstyle for that client with an extra thick head of hair. Between the washing, the blowdrying and the tangles, the pursuit of a manageable haircut for clients with a ton of hair hair seems like an uphill battle. Fear not, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

In today's how-to video, salon owner and educator, Ryan Teal (@ryan_teal) joins Matt Beck (@freesaloneducation) to demonstrate a layered cut for thick hair. The finished look truly emphasizes everything great about voluminous hair, and satisfies the client that wants to go a little shorter while still maintaining shape. 

Get the look:

  • Following your client's desired part, section the hair into two forward sections and one section toward the back of the head. 
  • Before adding layers, cut the foundation of the hair. 
  • When cutting the foundation, use a comb rather than your fingers. You will notice a drastic difference in the level of the cut. 
  • Bring the comb straight down and begin cutting with a "sewing machine" effect; go in with the scissor and pull out as you cut.
  • Working around the head, make sure there is no tension on the length while cutting. 
  • After cutting the foundation, separate the hair from front to back at indentation. Braid the front sections, if necessary, to keep the hair tidy.
  • Starting at the occipital, or "the basement" as Teal calls it, take a profile part, lift the hair straight up and cut desired length. 
  • When you lift the hair horizontally, you will notice that the hair curves towards the nape—creating width but eliminating weight. 
  • Important: braid out your disconnect before cutting the top section. You do not want it to touch anything else as it will create a hole that is not reparable.
  • Now, cut the "main floor" and section out the "roof." Depending on the thickness, you can add a second pleat. 
  • Take a horizontal parting, but hold it vertical. The length will hang over the "basement" section and collapse the hair.
  • Overdirect using square graduation and continue cutting using your vertical guide. 
  • To maintain weight through the front, pleat it back towards the upper left hand side.
  • Moving to the "roof" section, utilize the shape of the skull to create the curve for her layers. 
  • Blowdry and style as desired. 

About: Matt Beck, founder of Gratitude Salon Education invites all stylists and future stylists to Now more than ever Matt and his team at Gratitude Salon Education are showcasing their passion for education and for the salon industry by offering an on-line learning network at no charge. A site dedicated to providing the highest quality step by step education on a weekly basis for anyone who wants to log in, be inspired, and learn! Stylists can expect education on cutting, coloring, styling, barbering, and business tips. You can also look forward to totally free educational videos sent by email and live web classes broadcast from in the salon.